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New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern introduces alert system to halt spread of Coronavirus

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern introduces alert system to halt spread of Coronavirus
March 21, 2020

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has introduced a four-tier alert system, which includes a ban on mass gatherings, to stop the spread of Coronavirus.

With the country now having 52 confirmed cases of COVID-19, in her first ever address to the nation today, Prime Minister Ardern she asked all people over 70 or with compromised immune systems to stay at home and for all non-essential domestic travel to be curtailed.

In her first ever address to the nation today, she also introduced a four-tier alert system based on the spread of the virus. New Zealand is currently at level two.

Level two means the disease is contained but the risks are growing, and contact with other people should be reduced through cancelled events, increased border measures, and people working from home.

Level three means there is a risk the disease is not contained and mass gatherings would be cancelled and public venues closed.

Level four means the disease was not contained and people should stay at home and non-essential businesses would be closed.

Prime Minister Ardern said people should be “very practical” about travelling domestically and should ask themselves if their travel was essential, adding "every unnecessary movement gives COVID-19 a chance to spread".

While she placed no restrictions on the operation of gyms and sports centres, Les Mills says gym goers must respect adopt 1.5 metre social distancing.

However, Auckland Council advised yesterday that its libraries, pools and recreation centres, as well as the Maritime Museum and Art Gallery, will close for two weeks.

Christchurch City Council today announced that all of its community facilities - libraries, sport and recreation centres, pools, community centres, service centres, the Christchurch Art Gallery and the visitors’ centre in the Botanic Gardens - would close from 4pm until further notice.

Prime Minister Ardern warned against misinformation, and implored people to look at the website to see the New Zealand Government's official information.

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